It’s around 13 years ago that I first heard about Telecom plus and interestingly, my introduction was via a less than professional mail-shot, from the then, Executive Director, Lil McLoughlin. To this day, I’ve no idea how my details came to be on Lil’s mailing list, but I’m very glad they were and that her simple A4 marketing letter arrived on my door-step that day. I wish that I had kept it, but all that I can remember was that it was compelling enough that it stayed in my ‘action folder’ for several months and that I eventually called Lil. I can’t recall what was said, but only that a few days later, there arrived in the post an information pack that included an audio tape. This impactful message had been recorded by Trevor Blake and whilst on the daily commute, I must have played his recording at least 100 times. Trevor talked about residual income and in particular, emerging residual income opportunities in the deregulated telecoms sector. He discussed the difference between high linear income and the time freedom that a passive income can yield.
In hindsight, whilst I knew that Telecom plus and the whole opportunity warranted further research, I was already pretty much decided. At the time I was employed within the pharmaceutical industry and was enrolled on a time intensive management development program. I can vividly remember that for at least a year, whilst I did not actually join Telecom plus, in my mind I was already signed-up and my thinking was dominated by the potential of network marketing, service based residual income and these emerging deregulated utility based. A few years previously I’d enjoyed a good grounding in network marketing and some success as an Amway Distributor. It was impossible to negate the scale of the Amway business, but whilst I loved the whole multi-level marketing concept, selling home based cleaning products was never really for me.
I took a trip to Somerset to visit my previous Amway Emerald Direct (Lee McCann), perhaps with a view to sharing this new Telecom plus business, but really looking for further reassurance that the network marketing promises of lifestyle and riches were sustainable and true. Interestingly, Telecom plus was never mentioned, but Lee did give me the boost, confidence and encouragement that I needed. Lee had a way with words and gave it to me ‘both barrels’. In a nut-shell, his advice was that I should and could aim a great deal higher than a mere £60k in pharmaceutical marketing. He also pointed out that despite a great salary, a promising career, company car, expenses account and fringe benefits; that it was my family who would pay the ultimate price for this illusion of success. And how right he turned out to be!
A few months later, with no appointment, I travelled to Telecom plus HQ and ‘knocked’ on the door. It was Richard Michelle (who was Finance Director at the time) who ‘answered’ and despite no appointment, willingly extended a warm Company welcome, complete with coffee, biscuits and a quick tour. Looking back, with so many scams and dream schemes, all that I was looking for was reassurance that ‘this’ Telecom plus did actually exist and with premises that matched their correspondence address. But despite being completely satisfied with my research and that Telecom plus HQ was built on solid ground, it was another six months before I physically joined. I still recall the surprise on Lil McLoughlin’s voice, who to her credit had followed up with me several times, but had probably long-since given up on me ever joining.
That was 12 years and three months ago – I signed the application form and proudly joined the ranks as a Telecom plus Independent Distributor on the 9th September 1999. At this stage, I’d like to share that success quickly followed, but that would be misleading. Around the same time, taking Lee McCann’s advice a little too literally and to everyone’s horror, I resigned from my secure/well paid pharmaceutical job and all those other benefits that you take for granted when employed. How difficult could self-employment be!? Specialist sales recruitment was my first step into the world of financial self-reliance – that and my £200 Telecom plus business in a box, but in the scheme of the monetary pressures that followed, it was the recruitment business that won the greatest share of my time. During that first year as a Telecom plus (Utility Warehouse) Distributor, I did virtually nothing! I did introduce enough customers to qualify and I did sign two Distributors. The first (Michael) did very little. The second (Brian), also did very little, apart from signing a handful of customers and introducing one other Distributor (John) in 2000. Significantly, John (an Aerospace Engineer), has done a fair bit and has built a business numbering 3600 Utility Warehouse customers.
When considering the whole philosophy/dynamic of network marketing and how time/financial leverage is possible through building a team, it fascinates me to look back and consider that for the next four (going on five years) I did virtually nothing! And aside from a little contact with Wes Linden, Lil McLoughlin and Trevor Blake, I was oblivious to the business growth that was beginning to develop through John’s consistent hard work. My Telecom plus/Utility Warehouse business was back in it’s box, gathering dust in a corner and that’s pretty much where it stayed until early 2004. Yet, despite any input from me, it flourished!
It was a meeting with Wes Linden, early in 2004 that reignited my interest. Wes, Lil and Trevor had always stayed in contact, but it was Wes’s persistence and a trip to London to meet with him that really got things back on the right track. During the 12 months that followed, the Distributor base grew from five Distributors to 200. And from there, with a part-time commitment and sometimes very inconsistent activity, promotion to Senior Group Leader (previously known as Marketing Director) was reached on the 25th December 2008.
Since 1997, Telecom plus PLC has evolved from a start-up enterprise, operating with a handful of staff from a former pub (The Five Horses) in Henley-on-Thames to a FTSE 250 company, with over 500 staff based in North East London and with a current value exceeding £5,000,000,000 (based on a recent share price of £8). Back at the start, the only service was a telephone smart-box, whereas today Telecom plus PLC (via the Utility Warehouse) boasts over 375,000 satisfied customers and offers savings on Telephone, Mobile, Internet, Gas and Electricity.
But all of this is just the beginning…mere foundations and a clue of what is yet to come. There has never been a better time to get started with the Utility Warehouse and given all that is planned/projected over the next ten years plus, it is the considered view of many that most of the Company’s highest paid Distributors have yet to even join the business.
The best is yet to come and as is often said in Utility Warehouse circles….
”The future is bright, the future is purple and white!”
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